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Diabet Med. 2004 Jan;21(1):39-44.

Association between fasting glucose and C-reactive protein in middle-aged subjects.

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Department of Cardiology, Rambam Medical Centre, and Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Haifa, Israel.



C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of subclinical inflammation, predicts the occurrence of coronary heart disease in healthy subjects. Hyperglycaemia is known to stimulate the release of inflammatory cytokines from various cell types and can lead to the induction and secretion of acute-phase reactants by adipocytes. The aim of the present study was to determine the relation between glycaemic status and CRP in healthy subjects.


We studied the relation of high-sensitivity CRP to fasting glucose and other components of the metabolic syndrome in a population-based cross-sectional study (n = 1000; age 50 +/- 9 years).


Plasma CRP levels increased continuously from the lowest quartile of normal fasting glucose level to impaired fasting glucose and to diabetes (ln CRP 0.47 +/- 0.09, 0.95 +/- 0.12, and 1.11 +/- 0.13, respectively; Ptrend < 0.0001). Increasing CRP with higher fasting glucose levels was apparent even among subjects with fasting glucose in the normal range (Ptrend = 0.039), and subjects with fasting glucose level in the upper quartile of normal fasting glucose had higher CRP levels compared with subjects in the lower quartile (P = 0.035). There was a positive crude correlation between CRP and smoking, post-menopausal hormone use, body mass index, fasting glucose, triglycerides, hypertension, and uric acid (r = 0.11-0.36, P = 0.002-0.0001). A negative correlation was found between CRP and HDL-cholesterol (r = 0.12, P < 0.0001) and physical activity (r = 0.11, P = 0.002). After adjustment for potential confounders in a stepwise multivariate linear regression model, fasting glucose remained significantly and independently related to CRP levels (correlation coefficient 0.06; 95% confidence interval 0.014-0.11, P = 0.011).


Fasting glucose is significantly and positively associated with plasma CRP in middle-aged subjects. CRP levels increase continuously across the spectrum of fasting glucose, beginning in the lowest quartile of normal fasting glucose. This finding suggests that a proinflammatory effect may contribute to the adverse cardiovascular outcome associated with diabetes, impaired fasting glucose, and increasing glucose levels within the normal range.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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